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Devil’s Backbone

A Loop in Texas Hill Country

Mileage51 miles (82 km)
DurationThe duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.1 hour, 21 minutes
SeasonsThe seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter.All Seasons
RoadwaysFarm Roads 12, 165, 2325, and 32, and US Highway 281
ServicesThe cities or towns listed have either Food or Services such as gas, pharmacies, etc.Pleasant Valley Crossing, TX, Canyon Lake, TX, San Marcos, TX, Canyon Springs, TX, Canyon Lake Forest, TX, Wimberley, TX, Hunter, TX, and Dripping Springs, TX
3.9 average from 438 votes
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Elevation Graph for Devil’s Backbone

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This loop drive through the Texas Hill Country’s eroding Edwards Plateau, offers not only outstanding views of the 400-mile-long Balcones Fault, expansive rolling hills and curvy roads, it is peppered with ghost stories and apparitions of Spanish monks, Native Americans, Confederate soldiers and others.

Old Blanco Courthouse
Old Blanco Courthouse

From the Texas Hill Country drive, head south on US-281 from Johnson City. About 3-miles south of Blanco, turn left onto Farm Road 32 passing rolling hills and ranches.

For the next several miles, marvel at the effects of erosion on the limestone hills, evidence of its volcanic past. Approaching Farm Road 3424, consider heading south towards Canyon Lake State Park (W1). Canyon Lake is one of the deepest lakes in Texas and has 80 miles of shoreline. Comprised of eight public parks, it is a haven for recreation of all types. Boating, scuba diving, para sailing, tubing, wildlife watching and hiking to name just a few. Take a guided tour through the Canyon Lake Gorge or visit the Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country where you can explore dinosaur tracks, fossils, and exhibits on early pioneer life and farm machinery.

Back on Farm Road 32, stop at the Devils Backbone Overlook (V1) on the northside of the road. Rolling hills and sweeping valleys dotted with oak and juniper and cactus make for a perfect location for a picnic and picture-taking.

In a few miles, turn left onto Farm Road 12 which heads to the quaint town of Wimberley. The town has a number of historic buildings, art galleries, unique shops, restaurants and accommodations. Taste the Texas “terroir” with a visit to one of the many wineries.

From Wimberley, head west on Farm Road 2325 where more beautiful vistas unfold. At the end of Farm Road 2325, turn left onto Farm Road 165 which leads back to Blanco where our scenic drive comes to an end.

In Blanco, visit the Old Blanco Courthouse (A1), one of the finest examples of architecture in the late 1800’s. Or consider a stop at Blanco State Park (H1). Though small by state park standards at a mere 110 acres, the park offers swimming, hiking, camping and fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass catfish and sunfish. Canoe, kayak and tube rentals are available.

Ready for another adventure? Head north on US-281 and continue exploring the Texas Hill Country.

Ready for adventure? Have park and forest passes before you get there.



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